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    Needs advice about oil re-filling

    I am currently at my parents' place for the Christmas brake and one of their cars is a 1999 BMW 318i (previous generation then) with 120,000 km on the speedo.

    The car eats quite a lot of oil and I re-filled it 3 weeks ago but when opening the bonnet (front trunk) to check the oil level it was 20% above the minimum level, if you consider the full-scale measurement to be between min and max level. I could not add more oil then because the bottle was empty.

    Now I have bought another oil bottle but the viscosity is not the same (better one). Of course the oil's viscosity and characteristics are those recommended by BMW.

    I have called our BMW's dealer and I have been told that ideally the oil level should be right in the middle between the min and max level and different oils should not be mixed. However he said it is better to mix 2 different oils to have the above-described oil level than to leave the current oil level as it is.

    Now I have 2 choices:

    • leaving the oil level as it is knowing it may be a little bit low.
    • adding a reasonable amount of the oil I just bought to have the allegedly right level of oil, but the viscosity of this oil is different, though "better" (5W30 if I remember correctly). 
    Of course if it was a high-end sports car it would be a no-brainer and I would undertake a complete oil change, but here I am keen to hear any advice / recommendation, since we care for this car very much. Thanks.

    Re: Needs advice about oil re-filling

    Either way, the engine should be fine. It's still within the acceptable limit and oil of different viscosity is not going to harm it either. What would alarm me though is that the engine consumes so much oil. Check for leaks (could be from the head gasket, oil sump, collars of all sort, crank gasket etc). If there is no leak then perhaps the valve springs are gone (does it emit blue spoke under full load / heavy revving?). It needs to be taken care of.

    Re: Needs advice about oil re-filling

    So long as the oil is not below the Min level, you're fine. Just keep and eye out on it.

    As far as mixing grades - not really an issue. In my older car that use to eat about a quart or so a month, if I'd run out of 10w40 in the summer, I'd use a little 10w30 to top it off. No biggie.

    What you absolutely DO NOT want to do is mix types! Don't  mix Synthetic and Regular Bio. Or Synth Blend and Synth.


    ...the only thing stopping you, is you!

    Re: Needs advice about oil re-filling

    BMW 318i from 1999 with 120000 km on it owned by your (elderly?) parents? Just mix the two BMW approved oils (make sure they're the same type...synthetic with synthetic, regular with regular and so on) and sleep well. Smiley

    RC (Germany) - Rennteam Editor 997 Turbo, Cayenne Turbo S, BMW M3 Cab DKG, Mini Cooper S JCW

    Re: Needs advice about oil re-filling

    Thanks to you all for your advice, I guess I will re-fill a bit then.Smiley



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